Dear freshman

by Alex Solari, Staff Writer

Welcome to UMass Dartmouth. No amount of articles or advice will prepare for this journey you’re embarking on.

As much as I heard about college and the “college life” before I got here, I was surely mistaken on how it would actually be. With that said, here are some tidbits to keep in the back of your mind during this stressful, exciting time.

Don’t isolate yourself. My entire freshman year I stayed in my room and made absolutely no friends. You may feel inclined to do this, especially if you’re naturally shy and reserved, but pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is essential in having a fun college experience.

Remember one thing: your academics are most important. Although you want to have a fun experience, you must remember that college is essentially for one thing: getting a degree. Maintaining a balance between schoolwork, sleep, and a social life will probably be your biggest struggle here. Make sure you keep your focus on your grades among everything else.

Don’t rely on your professors for reminders. At my high school, I was constantly reminded about assignments that were due, and never had a chance to forget about my responsibilities.

In college, professors refuse to babysit, and will not remind you of any assignment you have coming up. Spoiler: they might just throw it on the syllabus without mentioning it at all!

Expect the “Freshman 15”. Just about everyone I know has gained the “Freshman 15”, and unfortunately that will likely be the case for you. If you want to get around this, try to buy healthier foods for your room rather than eating on campus, and go to our free gym a few times a week.

No one cares about your personal choices. And I mean that in the kindest way. No one cares if you go to class in your pajamas or sleep on the couch in LARTS. College is weird, and everyone understands that.

Don’t take 8 a.m. classes. I know it may be too late, and they could be already in your schedule, but trust me for next semester. Halfway through the semester, you’re bound to sleep-in a few too many times, and next thing you know, your professor has knocked enough points for you to flunk because of absences.

Feel free to explore majors. You may have come into UMass Dartmouth as an undeclared major, which is great! But if you have a major already, don’t let that restrain you. Maybe try a subject you never thought you’d enjoy, because college may be your last chance to explore classes and different subjects.

Double dip! You’re going to have a lot of requirements to fill, and some of them might make you feel bummed to take. If you double dip and make sure these unpleasant classes cover two requirements, you can get the not-so-great classes out of the way! Talking to your advisor can help you figure out which classes you can do this with.

And lastly, please enjoy yourself. It’s cliché, I know. Let yourself embrace new experiences: be safe, be smart, and good luck. See you around campus!


Leave a Reply